Finra decreases lobbying expenses

By Dan Jamieson

Oct 28, 2012 @ 12:01 am (Updated 3:31 pm) EST

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. cut its lobbying expenditures by 8.4% over the first nine months of this year, compared with the comparable period last year.

According to its latest lobbying report, filed Oct. 19 with Congress, Finra spent $760,000 through September on lobbying lawmakers and the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is down from $830,000 during the year-earlier period.

Finra has been lobbying on the investment oversight bill, HR 4624, among other issues.

That bill, written by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., would require all retail advisers to join a self-regulatory organization.

SHELVED THIS YEAR

But the legislation was shelved this year when the committee failed to vote on the measure before Congress adjourned.

A competing bill, written by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would allow the SEC to fund adviser exams through user fees. A revised SRO bill is expected to be reintroduced next year.

Broker-dealers generally support Finra's efforts to take on adviser oversight, but some member firms question the lobbying expenditures in light of the organization's continuing losses and member fee increases that went into effect this summer.

Finra spokeswoman Michelle Ong declined to comment.

djamieson@investmentnews.com Twitter: @dvjamieson